Savchenko, Yakiv

Savchenko, Yakiv [Савченко, Яків; Savčenko, Jakiv; pseud: Ya. Mozheiko], b 2 April 1890 in Zhabky (now Lutsenky), Lokhvytsia county, Poltava gubernia, d 2 November 1937 in Kyiv. Symbolist poet and literary critic; brother of Pavlo Savchenko. He studied at Kyiv University and taught for a time in Sumy county. He began publishing poetry in Ukrainian periodicals in 1913. Published separately were his collections Poeziï (Poems, 1918) and Zemlia (Earth, 1921). He evolved from symbolism, as a member of the group Muzahet, and became a leading member of the writers' groups Zhovten and the All-Ukrainian Association of Proletarian Writers. From 1918 on he published literary and film criticism in the journal Mystetstvo, Zhyttia i revoliutsiia, Nova generatsiia, and other Soviet Ukrainian journals; some of it was reprinted in his books Poety i beletrysty (Poets and Belletrists, 1927), Doba i pys'mennyk (The Age and the Writer, 1930), and Narodzhennia ukraïns'koho radians'koho kino: Try fil'my O. Dovzhenka (The Birth of Ukrainian Soviet Cinema: Three Films by Oleksander Dovzhenko, 1930). In the Literary Discussion of the 1920s he expounded the Communist Party line and spoke out against the positions of Mykola Khvylovy and Mykola Zerov; his views were expressed in the polemical books Aziiats'kyi apokalipsis (The Asiatic Apocalypse, 1926) and Proty restavratsiï hreko-ryms'koho mystetstva (Against the Restoration of Greco-Roman Art, 1927). He was arrested during the Stalinist terror in 1937 and executed.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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